Japanese car makers continue to keep us in work here at CNET car tech. Just when you thought that today's models had as much gadgetry onboard as possible, along comes Infiniti with its 2008 EX35, a model that introduces two brand new car technology features. The EX35 is the first production car to come with Around View Monitor, a camera-based parking aid that gives drivers a top-down surround view of the car and any obstacles in its vicinity. It is also the first car in the United States to come with a nonemergency active safety feature in the form … Read more
SEATTLE--Carbon offsets, energy efficiency credits, renewable energy certificates. The lexicon of the new, niche business world of brokering in greenhouse gases was spoken at the Discover Brilliant conference Monday. (It felt like being in Charlie Brown's classroom.)
Carbon markets have begun to boom over the past year, offering corporations options for offsetting their emissions by trading them with cleaner companies. Many proponents of carbon trading want laws to force businesses to clean up their act.
If you've kept an eye on the gestures scene, you'll be familiar with the concept of controlling various apps and services with hand gestures. The idea is to help you escape the use of traditional peripheral devices like a mouse or joystick in place of your body and hands. Lately we've seen examples from Microsoft, as well as a slick peripheral from 3dconnexion that's specifically been designed for navigating 3D spaces. Xtreme Reality is a software that captures body gestures via Webcam and converts them into keyboard and mouse inputs. You can create your own keyboard … Read more
Video cameras acting as an express lane to YouTube are gaining in popularity. First there was the Flip, now comes the VHoldr.
The VHoldr is smaller and pricier than the nifty Flip Video camera, but it sets itself apart by enabling hands-free operation. The VHoldr is a ruggedized, weatherproof video camera that is palm-size, but intended to be worn and not held. It's meant to capture video on the go, say, while you're speeding down a snow-covered mountain, bouncing over mountain bike trails or engaging in any other extreme sport of which you'd like to see the … Read more
For what has seemed like nearly an eternity, online game god Raph Koster has been mum about Areae, the company he formed after leaving his previous job as chief creative officer at EverQuest and Star Wars Galaxies publisher, Sony Online Entertainment.
At conference after conference, Koster has spoken, representing Areae, but really never revealing even the slimmest of morsels, beyond an initial statement that the company was gong to "reinvent virtual worlds," about what the San Diego startup was up to.
Zocdoc is a new service for finding local dentists and booking appointments for times that work with your schedule. It's aim is to replace the often aggravating process of trying to find a local dentist through the overwhelming, and often non-user-friendly directories provided by insurance companies.
Just plug in your city or ZIP code, and Zocdoc will pull up a list of local dentists, along with their daily appointment openings and insurance options. You can sort open appointment times by the type of service you're looking for--e.g., cleanings, Invisalign, or the hallowed root canal. If you find … Read more
Docstoc is a document browsing and searching tool for "professional documents." Unlike Scribd, which has been casually called a "YouTube for documents," Docstoc is going for a more business-oriented crowd. At least that's their pitch. The features are very similar, with a communal sense of document sharing and live-viewer for MS Office documents, PDF files, and other popular file types.
One thing that does set it apart is its user profiles and document request system. Each user gets their own profile, complete with as much personal information as their willing to share, along with a link to their LinkedIn profile (if they have one). Underneath that is a full listing of their documents, which can be searched along with everyone else's shared content.
The document request system is a little more interesting. It lets you request a document you're looking for by setting tags or keywords. This basically sets up an alert that will keep an eye on other Docstoc user submissions. When someone uploads a document that matches your criteria, you'll receive an alert. Whether or not it really matches what you were looking for is anyone's guess, but the idea is that there's hope instead of dead ends when it comes to tracking down files.
The service demoed at today's TechCrunch40 conference, although is still in private beta. To get access, you can sign up on their front page. There's also a 6-month old pre-beta walkthrough on YouTube, which I've embedded after the break.… Read more
SEATTLE--Clean energy innovations may be getting off the ground in labs and start-up business plans, but making them commonplace for consumers is another matter.
"We're not getting there very quickly because no one's paying the bill," said Stan Bull, director of research and development at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which is exploring alternative fuels such as ethanol from corn stalks, waste paper and wood from forests thinned to prevent wildfires.
AOL is showing off today a new media sharing and storage service, BlueString. I snuck into the unfinished product after I got a preview, and it looks like it's going to be very straightforward and easy to use. There are several services that do what it does, but few that do it as easily.
BlueString's neat trick is that it manages to work well as both a sharing site--a good place for you to create slide shows of events that you then e-mail to your family or embed on your personal site--and a media storage service.
The storage back-end for BlueString is XDrive, an online storage and backup service that AOL acquired, and where AOL has clearly been testing BlueString ideas. BlueString's show creator function, for example, looks like a rebuild of a nearly identical feature in XDrive.
Getting media into BlueString is quite easy. The import dialog box allows you to select multiple files to import at once. If you're a user of AOL Pictures, files from there also automatically load into your workspace. These features are being showcased today at the TechCrunch 40 event in San Francisco. BlueString will also import from Flickr, which is great for people who miss the straightforward Yahoo Photos application recently killed in favor of the higher-concept Flickr service.
Flock is launching version 1.0 of its social browser next month. The biggest change is a new RSS reader and start page that essentially builds in its own NetVibes and Google Reader. Also new is a sidebar that hangs out on the right side of the browser and has tabs for Flickr, Facebook, and YouTube. If you've read up on our coverage of Mozilla's Coop project, Flock has basically beaten them to the punch, with a sidebar of your friends that lets you both keep track of what they're up to, as well as being able … Read more